To shoot,... or not to shoot...?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by dragonfly, Sep 3, 2011.

  1. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    That is the question!
    Recently, 2 events as I will describe here, have taken place inside Maricopa County...Phoenix Arizona.
    Officers responded and the strangest and most "interesting" things happened:
    1) A man was reported to be walking around in his front yard holding a .357 revolver to his head, threatening suicide. Officers responded.
    After some verbal exchanges, one officer, a Sergeant with the sheriff's office, stepped forward and directly in front of the man. The man talked for a bit with this officer then he proceeded to try a new approach: Death( suicide?) by cop. He lowered the weapon and pointed it directly at the officers face. The officer knew the weapon was loaded, as he could easily see the rounds in the cylinder. Eventually, the man lowered the weapon and was taken into custody.
    Not what many would ahve done and I am one to agree that the second that weapon started to raise into my vicinity, the man would no longer be an "issue". Not a good thing, But I would be going home that day!
    Tough call for some...That officer is a 25 year veteran. He could easily have become a corpse.

    2) Officers respond to a call "man with a gun"...and, almost identical themes "play out", but this time we have several officers. One of them is a young lady that is fairly new on the force. (2-3 years) She is armed with an AR. She is only 20 yds from the suspect. The man aims at the officer and demands that he be shot by the cops....(same old same old).
    Luckily the man backs down. The officers all go home that day. When asked WHY the female officer did NOT shoot, as soon as the man put the gun in the general direction of the officer out in front....She said simply she thought he (bad guy) was holding a cell phone!

    This is the kind of stuff that gets people killed everyday.
    Now, I for one do NOT want to see any "trigger happy" officers out there going hog wild and blasting anyone and everyone they "think" might pose a threat. Not me! I could be one of those that gets shot! I certainly applaud the bravery and fortitude of any officer than can end a scenario such as these, so calmly and quietly. No one gets shot or killed, No one.
    But, what "IF"?
    I hate to think about oldest son is out there and has had to face situations where he was in immediate danger.
    Things can go horribly wrong...people are dangerous animals and IF they think they are cornered, they react sometimes in a way that can only be described as insane.
    Many of those sceanrios are covered again and again in training. They actually do shoot each other in trainnig scenarios with paintball guns.You get to FEEL the results of screwing up. It seems that some do not get the message. That can get others killed.
    hank2222 and Alpha Dog like this.
  2. fedorthedog

    fedorthedog Monkey+++

    The term for failure to use deadly force is liability shock. Many are so afraid of being sued that they risk death instead. I would like to say I have never made those type of mistakes but I have a medal for not killing a guy attacking me with a knife who when the taser failed I backed up reloaded and then tased. In retrospect I know what happened butat the time it was all reflex.
    Alpha Dog and dragonfly like this.
  3. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Both an easy question and a hard question. Some time ago I read an interesting account of a shooting where to law enforcement officers were shot and killed by an individual in the back seat. This individual was charged with 2 counts of murder in the 1st degree. One officer had cleared his holster, but never got a shot off, the other only had unsnapped his holster and had hand on his weapon when killed. Did I mention that the accused in this case was an undercover officer from a different police dept. The accused was also what could be described as a bit of a pistolero who did more than shoot his required qualifications, but shot 2 or 3 venues of pistol competition. As it played out in court, he was aquitted after a lengthy trial. The two cops killed had initiated contact, and after the undercover identified himself had asked him into the cruiser to discuss something. The undercover knew these two cops were suspected as being dirty (later proven), and during the conversation which deteriated, and while making direct eye contact with the first officer shot, said, "officer 1 swore at me and started to draw his weapon (as determined by sound, facial expression, body movement, shoulder, and arm movement), fearing for my life, I shot him, and then his partner as he followed suit." No way could the non gun owning prosecutor or DA believe he, the accused, had not previously drawn his weapon, and had the drop on the officers in the front, and simply executed them. That is until several expert witnesses had given testimony and a few video tapes were shown.
    My long and lengthy point in all this is. Each and every one of us when confronted and carrying have to make the personal decision as to when to clear leather, and when to shoot.
    It is not always black and white. When I was in a supervisory position with trained security personnel working for me, I taught use of force and deadly force, and policy. I also told them the final decision was theirs but would be reviewed by their peers, me, and those above my pay grade. I also told them to shut the %&*$ up afterwards and request legal counsel until completely cleared of the shooting. Almost everyone is going to be on an adrenilin rush after surviving a shooting incident and may say things that can be used against them. jmho
  4. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    IMO, there are two basic types of attack; the ones dragonfly mentioned where there was time for both sides to think about it and attacks where one doesn't get that luxury.
  5. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    I've been "lucky" in that I have drawn down on people 3 times, but never fired a single round. It's hairy at best! I knew the adrenaline could make stuff happen that I didn't want to go down, but when I was faced with 3 armed men on 2 separate occassions, and once by a really really drunken American Indian man that had scaled 3 floors (outside walls!) and broke into an apartment, scaring the daylights out of the lady inside! I shook for a while after each incident and ran it over and over thru my mind...I still live with those incidents today, and that happened long ago! I can't imagine having had to deal with shooting a person in those scenarios...
    War, now that's a different cat altogether!
    hank2222 likes this.
  6. Sapper John

    Sapper John Analog Monkey in a Digital World

    I was trained that when in doubt, whip it out...I also learned that it was better to be tried by 12 than carried by 6. But it really boils down to what your peers in the jury consider to be reasonable force.
  7. STANGF150

    STANGF150 Knowledge Seeker

    If I feel I have to draw, sumbody getting hurt! I ain't no Wyatt Earp, but I ain't slow either.
  8. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    Distance is a major factor with defense; when an enemy is real close hands are quicker to do harm than drawing the gun, ymmv.
  9. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Distance surely does count. But if the threat is that close, it's already too late for me. Along with most, I'm way too slow to do anything at all about it at arm's length.
  10. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Distance shows how good your situational awareness is for any given situation. If you were paying attention, more than likely, you would not be caught in a situation, where you are that close to the threat. Yes, There are some things that JUST Happen, but in 99% of these cases, being aware of your surroundings, will shield, or forewarn, you of any impending threat. Situational Awareness is a Learned Skillset, and can be, and is, taught. It is for Sheepdogs, and Wolves, but rarely are sheeple, interested in such a Skillset.... .... YMMV....
    tulianr likes this.
  11. snowbyrd

    snowbyrd Latet anguis in herba

    Personally, if at 20yards, a person pulled up thier 'wepon' at my 'compodre's' face I would have fired. Sit rep. All the things that 'people' say in 'this case I wouda...". Wrong move. The threat is NOW. Cudda, shudda, BS. React NOW! Me in a fire fight? I love the "luckly he backed down" BS. Live with it if he had not. TAKE THE SHOT!
    Just my stupid opinion.
    STANGF150 likes this.
  12. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    Although it is always a coin flip; I am in above average shape and proficient with martial arts.

    You could take a hike covered with $100 bills and not even attract attention. ;)
    I go to stores and I have to use the entrance and exit or walk in a crowd at the mall. I can't always avoid being within reach of a threat; so I practice to deal with them.
    Sapper John and tulianr like this.
  13. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    Rog which is why people have a CCW or ignore the law. The odds can't get any better when one is armed and the bad guys are 10 or 20 yards away; however, what happens if they are already up close and personal? So the threat is not only close it is now.

    When an Infantry LP (listening post) "knows" the enemy is close, the normal "sit rep negative" transmission becomes play with the PTT (push to talk while being silent) time.
    So here we have a few guys with FA rifles, pistols, grenades within a couple of 100 meters of an Infantry unit's night logger with a radio and they can't use them.
  14. Alpha Dog

    Alpha Dog survival of the breed

    We were trained that at 20 yards a man with a knife can stab an officer before he can draw his weapon and fire. I have had to discharge my weapon in the line of duty once into a vehicle the guy tried to run me and another Deputy down. The guy wanted to kill the sheriff and a judge. The one I remember most is I had a boot Deputy with me I was his FTO and was watching him handle a domestic.The suspect pulled a gun. As I was getting in location to take the shot the guy pulled the trigger and the gun didn't discharge. I shot as he fled into another room at which point the suspect got a new grip on reality and knew things was going to get ugly. He threw his weapon out and started yelling that he gave up. I took him into custody and my boot was still standing there with his weapon in hand in shock. We got back to the office I ask him why didn't he shoot and he said I was worried about getting sued. I don't want to have to take a life but I look at it like this Im going home to my family
  15. snowbyrd

    snowbyrd Latet anguis in herba

    Point made, Ain't no listing post not military thing. you point a firearm at me or mine I will TAKE THE SHOT. No ccp no game just you be dead. I was not there then, I do not second guess anyone. Point a weopon and me or mine, you be dead. Comprende'? Very simple, very final Just my 'stupid thinking'

    have I ever shot and/or killed anyone Yepper, I live with it everyday and night. I pray none of you have the dreams/nightmares I do. God bless you all.....
    Alpha Dog likes this.
  16. idahoelkhunter

    idahoelkhunter Monkey+

    Each situation is very different and there are no right answers. Luckily for the bad guys, most officers are a little hesitant. A split second decision is looked at by a panel (sometimes of civilians) for months to see if it was justified. Given the little information in the stories, I think both officers would have been justified if they chose another option but I would have had to been there.
  17. idahoelkhunter

    idahoelkhunter Monkey+

    Not to mention public pressure. Deparments are politcally motivated meaning if a civy action group puts enough pressure on the department, they (the department's management) may make a decision that is not fair. Sorry to say - but its true. Esp if the department head is an elected position.
    Alpha Dog likes this.
  18. hank2222

    hank2222 Monkey+++

    That came from a Seattle Wa police dept files in 1981 era if a remember the whole thing right . Where a man with a knife cut up the first officer on the scene during the call where the officer still had his duty weapon still in his holster when the person attacked him and the second officer on scene during the call and the second officer also on the scene shot and killing him .

    Later on it became known as the 21.ft rule when dealing a person with knife call's
    Alpha Dog likes this.
  19. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    Twenty one feet and closing rapidly while screaming with a big bloody axe? :eek:

    As it adds reach the axe is unfair. ;)

    That wasn't the reason I mentioned the military. Ask any street cop no one stands still until after they are apprehended.

    When someone points a gun it is already out and aimed which means the bad guy should be quicker than drawing and aiming.. However, it is good to meet someone who is so confident in their skills and the Tueller Drill is safe way to demonstrate them:

    Although it is full contact; it also teaches movement isn't limited to the attacker; so IMO #3 is best. Some friends and I tried #2, we learned it isn't that easy, YMMV.

    We also learned that if the runner is really quick after one (successfully) sidesteps; the runner gets shot in the back. Luckily for the HS Linebacker runner, the "finger gun" never has bullets. LOL.
    hank2222 likes this.
  20. Alpha Dog

    Alpha Dog survival of the breed

    Yes that is where the instructor told us the 21ft rule came from, he also had many other LEO wounded or killed for second guessing themselves.
    I don't care how anyone feels if it comes to the point I feel Im going to be severely injured or killed or my partner or a civilan I will not think a second thought of dropping the bad guy. Which where I work there is one Deputy and one Troop for the whole County per shift due to budgets, so most of the time we don't have the option of back up and these crackheads know it. I LOVE ME and if I can help they are going to have to fight to make me a victim or a name on the wall.
    hank2222 likes this.
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